University of Pittsburgh
July 19, 2005

Local Bassist Wins 2005 Pitt-Mellon Jazz Scholarship


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Bass player Dan Doan is the winner of the 2005 University of Pittsburgh-Mellon Jazz Scholarship, a $5,000 tuition award presented every year to a promising Pitt jazz student. Doan, 20, will accept the honor at Hartwood Acres Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31, prior to the free public Mellon Jazz at Hartwood Acres event. Presented as part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert series, the event features acclaimed jazz trumpeter Chris Botti.

Doan, a 2003 graduate of Upper Saint Clair High School, is a junior at Pitt, where he is a history and philosophy of science major, premed, and carries a minor in neuroscience. He played the violin at age 4, the piano at age 5, but switched to the bass at age 15. He has been playing upright and electric bass ever since. Doan is a member of the Pitt Jazz Ensemble and has traveled to Jamaica with ensemble members to perform under the direction of Nathan Davis, professor of music and head of Pitt Jazz Studies.

A panel of internationally recognized musicians-David Baker, Rufus Reid, and James Moody- selected Doan's winning audition tape of jazz standards.

"Dan is one of the hardest working musicians that I've had the chance to work with," remarked Davis. "I assigned him the Charlie Parker tune 'Donna Lee' in my improv class. It's very difficult, and he ate it up. That's what impressed the judges. When they heard him playing horn lines on the bass-that blew them away."

Doan occasionally performs with several Pitt alumni-pianist Mike Schiller

(A&S, '05) guitarist Ben Geise (A&S, '05), and percussionist Ajinka "Jinx" Joglekar (A&S, '05)-all previous winners of the Pitt-Mellon Jazz Scholarship. Doan, however, has his eye on the Pitt School of Medicine. When asked about his goals, he replied, "I want to be a great surgeon who has time to take a break and play jazz."

This is the 19th year Pitt and the Mellon Financial Corporation have funded the scholarship. Mellon's participation in the scholarship is part of Mellon Jazz, a program that supports the best in live jazz performances, jazz education, and recognition of groups and organizations that have contributed to the continuation and strengthening of Pittsburgh's jazz tradition.